ICBC's top five smart driving tips for Easter long weekend

VANCOUVER, March 31 /CNW/ - As the first long weekend of the year approaches, ICBC is encouraging all drivers to plan ahead and drive safely this Easter.

Over the past five years (2005-2009), there have been an average of 2,100 crashes, 630 injuries and four fatalities throughout B.C. over the four-day Easter long weekend.

"Our roads will be extra busy with many drivers setting off on their first road trip of the year," said Nicolas Jimenez, ICBC's director of Road Safety. "It's important for drivers to do their part to keep our roads safe by being extra cautious and making smart driving decisions. At this time of the year, we can often still see challenging weather conditions across many parts of the province."

Here are ICBC's top five smart driving tips for this Easter long weekend:

    
        No. 1 - Be realistic: Plan ahead and be realistic about travel times.
        Allow extra time for possible delays that may occur due to increased
        traffic volume over the long weekend. Check www.drivebc.ca for road
        and weather conditions before setting out.

        No. 2 - Your vehicle: Long road trips can be tiring for drivers and
        passengers but also on your vehicle, so make sure it's up to the
        drive. Remember to check your engine oil, washer fluid, lights and
        inspect your vehicle tires, including the spare, to make sure they
        are in good condition and properly inflated. For more tips on
        preparing your vehicle, go to www.drivesmartsavegreen.com.

        No. 3 - Be safe: At this time of year in B.C., weather conditions can
        change quickly, especially when travelling over long distances. Even
        in spring, drivers may encounter winter-like conditions in some parts
        of the province. In other parts of the province, warmer weather will
        encourage more motorcyclists and bicyclists to hit the road. Drivers
        should slow down, use extra caution and keep a look out for other
        roads users.

        No. 4 - Drive smart: Whether travelling a long distance or a short
        trip, always maintain a safe travelling distance between vehicles.
        Allow at least two seconds of following distance in good weather and
        road conditions, and at least three seconds on high-speed roads or if
        you're behind a motorcycle since it has a much shorter stopping
        distance.

        No. 5 - Model it: Set an example for your children and other drivers
        by making smart driving decisions on the road. Start by always
        wearing your seatbelt and make sure that everyone else in the vehicle
        does too.
    

For more smart driving tips, please visit www.icbc.com/drivesmart.

If you are involved in a crash, ICBC's Dial-A-Claim service is open 24 hours a day, including holidays. In the Lower Mainland, call 604-520-8222, and for the rest of B.C., call 1-800-910-4222, or you can file your claim online at www.icbc.com.

    
    * Note: ICBC data was used for crashes and injuries; police data for
        fatalities.
    

SOURCE ICBC

For further information: For further information: Media contact: Adam Grossman, (604) 982-1332

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